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Talk by Ghanaian author in New York!
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Diasporian News of Thursday, 28 September 2006

Source: schulman, michael

Talk by Ghanaian author in New York!

The New Yorker Festival presents


A Talk by Mohammed Naseehu Ali


37 Arts 450 West 37th Street

Mohammed Naseehu Ali is a native of Ghana and is the son of the late Emir of the Kumasi Zongo. He has published a story collection, ³The Prophet of Zongo Street,² parts of which first appeared in The New Yorker. A musician as well as a writer, he plays the djembe and the talking drum.

What is a prophet? Is prophecy solely ascribed to those who speak for God or a deity? Or are prophets merely individuals who are gifted with more than ordinary moral insight and are willing to sacrifice their own lives and livelihoods in the quest for truth?

Ali¹s talk will attempt to highlight the commonness of the mission of ³prophets² from Socrates, Jesus, and Muhammad on down to Gandhi and Nelson Mandela: the similarity of their moral and philosophical outlook, the common quality of courage and human conscience they all share, and finally, the tragic fate of persecution they all encounter. Whether they are attacked by the establishment or status quo or the masses, prophets always end up being brutalized ­ both spiritually and physically. This grim analysis, however, never caused a paucity of prophets in our history.

But in an age when politicians and our so-called media-appointed leaders and religious leaders cannot speak their minds about the rot in our societies for fear of acting against their narrow interests, courage has taken a backseat in our actions. Thus, our generation may be in danger of not providing leaders, prophets, who will stand up to the task of leading us out of our social and political decadence.

³Blinding the Seer² is part of the seventh annual New Yorker Festival, a celebratory weekend of public discourse on arts and ideas presented by The New Yorker. This year¹s Festival runs from October 6th through October 8th, encompassing readings, musical performances, interviews, debates, and excursions around New York City.

Tickets for ³Blinding the Seer² are $25 and are available online at ticketmaster.com, at Ticketmaster outlets, or by calling 1-877-391-0545.

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